Democrat Charlie Bailey Drops Out of Georgia AG Race to Run for Lieutenant Governor

Georgia Democrat Charlie Bailey said Sunday that he is dropping out of the race for attorney general and instead will run for lieutenant governor.

Bailey's departure leaves state Senator Jen Jordan as the only announced Democrat in the race for attorney general against Republican incumbent Chris Carr. Some prominent Democrats requested that Bailey, 38, change his focus, he told the Associated Press on Monday.

"I think it's the best place that I can make the most impact for the working people of this state," Bailey said, according to AP.

Former Governor Roy Barnes, former Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor and U.S. Representative Hank Johnson are endorsing Bailey.

In 2018, Bailey was the party's nominee for attorney general and garnered 48.7 percent of the vote when he lost to Carr.

"I think I'm the best person for the job and I think I can help the ticket," Bailey said, AP reported. "I'm a proven statewide nominee."

Other declared Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor include Jason Hayes of Alpharetta, state Representative Erick Allen of Smyrna, state Representative Derrick Jackson of Tyrone, state Representative Renitta Shannon of Atlanta and Bryan Miller of Watkinsville.

Incumbent Republican Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan said he would not run again.

Charlie Bailey, Democrat, Lt. Gov. Race
Georgia Democrat Charlie Bailey said Sunday that he is dropping out of the race for attorney general and instead will run for lieutenant governor. Megan Varner/Getty Images

Republicans running include state Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller of Gainesville, state Senator Burt Jones of Jackson, Jeanne Seaver of Savannah and others.

Bailey acknowledged that Republicans would likely remain in the majority in the state Senate after the 2022 elections but said he would advocate for Democratic priorities and try to get Republicans to work with him on subjects of mutual interest such as public safety and health care.

Other Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor say they're not giving up.

"For the last five years, Charlie was running for attorney general. That seemed to be what his heart was set on," Allen said. "I'm a good fit for this office and I don't think someone seeking a winnable race is going to change my opinion."

Jordan announced Monday that she has raised more than $1.3 million in her bid for attorney general and had $1 million in the bank as the 2022 legislative session began. As a state senator, Jordan has to stop raising money during the session.

"We're going to continue to do what we've been doing, which is to work hard to put together a campaign that ultimately is going to be able to beat Chris Carr," the Sandy Springs Democrat said.

Jordan said she was encouraged that Democrats would ultimately have a strong, unified group of candidates in November, while Republicans are fighting among themselves.

"I think what's interesting, in terms of how things are panning out, is that it seems like Democrats are really focused on trying to build a slate that's going to be able to ultimately win," Jordan said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.